SIMPLICITY IN PASTA: Black Bean Spaghetti, Sauteed Mushrooms, and Garlic Broccoli Rabe

So, I haven’t really told *too many folks this yet… but I am going to Naples, Italy in about a week to visit lots of beautiful friends and do some very needed mega heart healing and soul filling… it’s my first ever trip to Italy and is relatively impromptu... although you could also say it’s a very long time coming. My mom is full Italian. That is the majority of what I have always identified with growing up, although I have a decent sprinkling of English, Irish, and Cherokee in here too (among other things). I always thought I’d study abroad there in college… or years later WWOOF… and have been planning an epic whole country trip with my mom for years now (and talking about it for way longer), which we 100% will still do… but somehow I have made it 31+ years without making it to where half of my family is from and some not too distant relatives still live… I kind of can’t believe it and am ridiculously excited / it might be the biggest thing pushing me through my days right now. I’ve been practicing (learning for the first time ever) Italian every freaking day, reading a book on traveling / eating through Italy (just one more on the ever growing stack), and practicing packing into my little carry on that I’m somehow supposed to only have weigh 17 pounds… I will make it work... maybe. Dreams of epic views, endless cappuccino e vino, such beautiful friend time, heart expansion, being immersed in a new language that is so close to my heart via my family roots even though it is completely new to me… I just want to walk around and cry in heart overflowing abundant joy. And eat. And cry.

Okay, so I say all of that because the book I’m reading right now (See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy by Frances Mayes) shares lots of food stories and recipes at the end of each chapter from restaurants around the country on their travels… and one of the recipes inspired me to make this… I left out the fermented anchovy paste and hazelnut oil (although the latter sounds divine, so if you have that, 100% toss that in with the pasta… I even think a sprinkling of crushed hazelnuts would be DELISH, but I wanted to keep it crazy simple).

This dish is simple, clean, delicious, and takes less than 30 minutes. Oh, and it’s grain-free when you use the black bean spaghetti!

I do use three different pots / pans to make this, so that’s the only minor down fall (I like 1-2 pot wonders as much as possible).

This is a great leftover or meal prep recipe - you can store the ingredients tossed together or separate if you want the flexibility to change things up next meal. What a yummy fancy lunch you’d have with this! Show stopper. Office is jealous. Good job, you.

Tip: You could swap out almost any basic pasta (I say that loosely as an AMERICAN Italian… knowing that that is not really true, but you know what I mean when I say it — spaghetti, spirals, penne). You can cook down any hearty greens instead of broccoli rabe (some of my favorites: kale, collards, boy choy, totsoi, yukina savoy, etc.). You can sautée almost any mushroom (shiitake, portabella, crimini, maiitake, oyster, etc.).

Black Bean Spaghetti, Sauteed Mushrooms, and Garlic Broccoli Rabe

Yields 2 big servings (could be 3-4 smaller portions)


Broccoli Rabe:

1 bunch Broccoli rabe

1 tsp Thyme, dried

1/2 tsp Salt

1-2 tbsp Coconut oil

4 cloves (roughly 2 tbsp) Garlic, minced

1/2 cup Filtered Water


1-2 tbsp Coconut oil

1/2 tsp Salt

3.5 oz Enoki Mushrooms (can sub your favorite mushroom, I mostly just liked the white color contrast with the dark pasta and greens)

Black Bean Spaghetti (I used the brand Explore Cuisine usually available at your local food coop or health food store)

1 tbsp Cold-pressed olive oil

1 tbsp Lemon juice

1/2 tsp Salt

Chili flakes (optional garnish)


Black bean spaghetti:

Fill a medium saucepan halfway with filtered or spring water with a hefty pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil and bring to a boil

While water is boiling, cook broccoli rabe and mushrooms (instructions below)

A few minutes after you start the mushrooms the water should definitely be boiling and ready to throw in your pasta - add your pasta and let cook on a medium heat

Black bean spaghetti takes roughly 7-8 minutes to cook to a nice consistency (read your package for specific time instructions, as it may vary slightly)

Strain the pasta and put back in saucepot

Toss pasta with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt

Broccoli rabe:

Add coconut oil to a medium frying pan and set to medium heat

Once oil is hot, add broccoli rabe and salt, let cook down for a few minutes, stirring occasionally

Add garlic and thyme and continue cooking on a medium-low heat

Once partially cooked down, add 1/2 cup filtered water and continue to cook down on a low heat until nicely wilted


Add coconut oil to a medium frying pan and set to medium heat

Once oil is hot, add mushrooms and salt

Let cook for approximately 10 minutes on a medium-low heat until golden brown (or crispier, if you’d like — I like crispy mushrooms :))


Plate the pasta with broccoli rabe and mushrooms, garnish with chili flakes if you like a little extra heat, and drizzle with a teeny bit of olive oil


*Please bear with me as I get to know a new camera and figure out all it’s quirks :) I’m pushing past and not letting that stop me from posting… maybe someday I’ll swap the photos out, or just keeping going and not look back…

luminous model: Siri Bani Kaur

luminous model: Cindy Ludlam


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